“When I look at the kids in our school, I think that everyone’s really accepting of other cultures,” she added.
A spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools, whose Web site offers information in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, said the district does not regulate the speech of groups that rent its facilities.
Nationwide, controversies over using school property for non-school-related events are common, said Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. Districts try to avoid problems by adhering to the same standards for everyone, Haynes said.
“Once they allow community groups to come and use the school during non-school hours, they cannot then say to one of the groups, ‘We’re going to exclude you because we don’t like your viewpoint,’ ” he said.
RWC President Butler-Short, who is listed as a Fairfax and Prince William chapter leader on Act! for America’s Web site, declined to be interviewed but said in an e-mail that “those who disagree with the views of any of the speakers at our club are welcome to express those contrary views in the marketplace of ideas.”
Jaghlit, who works part-time for CAIR, said that she and half a dozen other Muslim women who wear the hijab plan to attend the meeting to “have our non-terrorist voices heard.”
“I’m sure just the presence of hejabi women in the audience will do enough to hopefully get them to realize that this is pure nonsense,” she said, adding that some RWC members may turn out to be people she knows.
“Hey, we’re your neighbors, for God’s sake,” she said. “Is that really what you think about your neighbor?”
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.